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When We Were Very Young

(Winnie-the-Pooh #3)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  23,844 ratings  ·  590 reviews
Hardcover, 100 pages
Published October 31st 1988 by E.P. Dutton (first published November 1924)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  23,844 ratings  ·  590 reviews

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May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shall I go off to South America?
Shall I put out in my ship to sea?
Or get in my cage and be lions and tigers?
Or - shall I be only Me?

Extraordinarily funny and cute, When We Were Very Young features a variety of poems by A. A. Milne. One of them first introduces us to Winnie-the-Pooh.
While I enjoyed most of them, and love others dearly, a few didn't hold my interest and were rather unimpressive.
It's one of those books that I will read to my future children, if they'll like it or not.

P.S.: Can some
Jul 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book failed me totally.

It is a collection of poems. The poems have nothing to do with Christopher Robin, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tiger, Owl, Kanga and Baby Roo. I do not think the poems will appeal to a child and they did not appeal to me, an adult. Skip this.

It is is not made magical even by the Peter Dennis' excellent audiobook narration.

*Winnie-the-Pooh 5 stars
*The House at Pooh Corner 4 stars
*When We Were Very Young 1 star
Nandakishore Varma
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Childhood is a beautiful country, one which I was loath to leave but had to, all the same. It is the inevitable tragedy of the human condition. But writers have the magic in their pens, using which they can take us back to that hallowed place. This is one thing that A. A. Milne does wonderfully well. No wonder his books for children have outlived his more "serious" works.

Reading these poems, I could visit Christopher Robin's pre-school world of late mornings, drowsy afternoons and exciting days
For people who missed Private Eye's obituary poem a couple of decades ago:
Seventy-seven, shorn of his locks
Christopher Robin beds down in a box
No need to whisper, we've got past that stage
Christopher Robin has died of old age
Merphy Napier
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, three-stars
These were really cute, but I liked the second book of poems much more!
Susan Howson
Jun 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Also know this one by heart. My poor future kids are going to have A. A. Milne rammed down their throats. "Can I please have some dinner?" "REPEAT 'JAMES JAMES MORRISON MORRISON'!!!" ...more
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading The Enchanted Places, I was feeling rather nostalgic about these books which I loved as a child, so it was nice to find a copy and refresh my memories of this one. ...more
Joey Woolfardis
I've never read any Winnie-the-Pooh books but am extremely aware of what it's about. These are poems from the same author and they are extremely hit-and-miss, but those that hit are utterly wonderful.

Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, the poems centre around young people who are in charge of their own lives and worlds. They are whimsical and very Carroll-esque in their magical and lyrical prowess. Some are droll, however, but most are nice.

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Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Utterly charming and lovely--delightful rhythm, fun rhymes, and illustrations that fit it perfectly! This was my first introduction to A.A. Milne.
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens, poetry
When We Were Young by A. A. Milne is composed of endearing 44 poems for children. Some of these poems I thought I heard when I was a young boy in the Pacific island. But at that time, I neither had knowledge of who A. A. Milne was nor I did have any interest on English poems. What I and my friends were singing were local poems like the very funny ”Tong-tong-tong paketong-ketong/ Alimango sa dagat…” or the funnier ”Lumakad sya sa tubig, ang paa ay nabasa… Nguni’t ang kanyang *beep-beep* ay hindi ...more
Literary Chic
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I decided to read the Winnie the Pooh books on a whim. I have no children, so I never have reason to visit the children’s wing of the Louisville Library. However, I recently discovered that section when I decided to read the classic Ferdinand. While picking up Ferdinand, I saw A.A. Milne’s work and picked up the Winnie the Pooh tales and When We Were Very Young. WWWVY is a short book of childish poems.

The most memorable thing about this book wasn’t the content really. For me, it was the Introduc
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1924 was the year Alan Alexander Milne published When We Were Very Young, the first in a steady stream of classics featuring some of the most charming characters in the history of British literature. In it, illustrator Ernest H. Shepard defines the visual trajectory of Winnie-the-Pooh for a century and beyond, and we meet Christopher Robin, a tiny chap bursting with enthusiasm to explore the great big world. He is our guide through most of the poems in this book, and his energy quickly gets the ...more
Melissa Chung
When I first picked this book up I thought it would be a continuation of the first book. A collection of short stories taking place in the hundred acre wood. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

This book #3 in the Pooh series is a collection of poems. The poems are silly and don’t really go together. The author, A.A. Milne states in the introduction that these poems came to him while on walks with Christopher Robin.

My kids thought they were just okay. I’m glad I borrowed this from the library b
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the child in us all.
Recommended to Wayne by: My Nana, Margaret Gertrude Gaughn
Ages 5 to 9!!!???
I've been reading this book ever since my older sister Di and I discovered it in our Nana's bookcase in the early 1950's.We eventually knew just about every poem off by heart, not because we set out to achieve this noble task but merely because we just read the poems over and over and over again, delighting in their rhythms and rhymes and subjects.

This is a 1938 edition. Pre World War Two. And post Edward and Mrs Simpson. It actually looks as though it may have been b
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children, young and old.
What a delightful little poetry book! I came across this by chance in the school’s old library a few days ago. I grew up with Winnie The Pooh, though I don’t see Disney rerunning any of the old episodes except only the occasional full length movie, it’s sad really.

Until lately I was unaware that the tales were originally written for Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, who had inspired them. Now if a father who had devoted writing little books of bouncing tigers and bossy rabbits and the likes for hi
May 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! I used to love reading this book with my Mum and Dad. Inside is one of my favorite poems of all time...

'Halfway Down'

Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn't any
other stair
quite like
i'm not at the bottom,
i'm not at the top;
so this is the stair
I always

Halfway up the stairs
Isn't up
And it isn't down.
It isn't in the nursery,
It isn't in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn't really
It's somewhere else
Elizabeth N. | ThePennilessBooknerd
While I was sad when I opened the book and found it wasn't another Winnie-the-Pooh story, instead a book of short poems by the author inspired by his son, I decided to give it a try anyway. It was pretty cute. Poetry tends not to be my thing, I find it confusing, but this book made me want to look more into it. ...more
Roz (Seventyeight.Sundays)
The cutest book of verses ever. Such simplicity and innocence that evokes feeling of nostalgia. Some of the poems can be deep too. Love it.
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I only really liked one poem, but loved the illustrations. Some poems are about/from Christopher Robin, but most of them where random and some about the British culture. I wish the poems where more from Pooh's brain, because he's very poetic and lyrical in the story. ...more
Samir Rawas Sarayji
May 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-lit, uk-lit
It's okish. Maybe is a kid I'd have been amused by the rhymes, but it felt overall silly. I didn't like the excessive line repetitions in the longer poems just for the sake of rhythm and melody. Some of the poems were on the brink of moral lessons and others were purely whimsical. ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very dear friend in her 80's, before she died, gave me this book to read to Squirt, because it had meant so much to her. She could recite poem after poem. I cannot tell you how lovely she was to me, and how much I want to share her love for these poems with my son, both to honour her, and to honour poetry itself, especially the "childishness" of it, the wonder and delight of words and meaning.

All that being said, these poems talk about things that are not a part of my son's world. He hasn't h
Connie D
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've read this many times, but not recently. Still so charming and sweet. ...more
Lauren Fee
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Delightful poetry to read and re-read to children.
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So pure, so gentle. A collection of precious poems about Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh (a.k.a. Edward Bear) ❤️ Don't miss the heartbreaking "James James Morrison Morrison", or poignant poems like "The Wrong House", "The Dormouse and the Doctor", or "The Invaders."

Favorite Verse:

"When the sun makes shadows of the leaves of the apple-tree
Then I pass
On the grass
From one leaf to another.
From one leaf to its brother."


"If you were a cloud, and sailed up there.
You’d sail o
Julia Buckley
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming book of poetry. My favorites captured very quiet moments, as in the sighting of a swan:

"And there I saw a white swan make
Another white swan in the lake;
And, breast to breast, both motionless,
They waited for the wind's caress. . . .
And all the water was at ease."

Mar 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A top notch book of children's poetry with excellent illustrations. Milne perfectly grasped the child's point-of-view, and "When We Were Very Young" delivers exactly the right tone of simplicity and wonder. My kids love it and ask for it again and again. It works without ever getting too syrupy sweet, and without the hidden messages that become so painfully obvious in other children's books. I think the reason that children and adults and nostalgic twenty-somethings love these poems is that they ...more
I’m not sure if any other writer quite captures the lyrical simplicity and self-seriousness of a child like A.A. Milne. His use of language is beyond that which most “adult” writers possess, utilizing sparse, elegant verse and paying close attention to the subtle nuances of sound. His subjects are perfect, as well! He clearly remembered being and child and was sympathetic to children. He did not don a pair of rose-colored glasses or talk down to his little readers, but rather he expressed all of ...more
Book Concierge
Illustrated by Ernest H Shepard

This was Milne’s first book for children, originally published in 1924. He was inspired by his young son, Christopher Robin, and the verses are sometimes silly, sometimes touching, and always enjoyable. Shepard’s illustrations are a perfect accompaniment, chronicling Christopher’s interactions with shopkeepers, nanny, horses, rabbits, and one particularly stout bear.

I was particularly delighted to read this poem on a snowy March day …
She wore her yell
Sep 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I think I might have enjoyed it more had I read it as a kid. I read the poems to my son who liked a few of them and was indifferent towards the rest of them. Will try reading to him once he is little older to see if he likes them.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An adorable collection of poetry verses for kids of all ages! Also loved the cute illustrations.
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Alan Alexander Milne (pronounced /ˈmɪln/) was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems.

A. A. Milne was born in Kilburn, London, to parents Vince Milne and Sarah Marie Milne (née Heginbotham) and grew up at Henley House School, 6/7 Mortimer Road (now Crescent), Kilburn, a small public school run by his father. One of his teac

Other books in the series

Winnie-the-Pooh (4 books)
  • Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1)
  • The House at Pooh Corner (Winnie-the-Pooh, #2)
  • Now We Are Six (Winnie-the-Pooh, #4)

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40 likes · 3 comments
“She turned to the sunlight
    And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
    "Winter is dead.”
“If people ask me,
I always tell them:
"Quite well, thank you, I'm very glad to say."
If people ask me,
I always answer,
"Quite well, thank you, how are you today?"
I always answer,
I always tell them,
If they ask me
I wish

That they wouldn't”
More quotes…